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Assessment of the suitability of the structure of mosques in the light of the elderly’s needs

Zahra Mohammadi, Aram Tirgar, Shima Sum
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Abstract

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Background and Objective: Aging, which is an inevitable process in life, brings about some limitations and disabilities. Providing conditions which are suitable for the elderly can result in a relatively healthy, comfortable, and independent life. Given the important role of mosques in maintaining people’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual health, the current study aimed to assess the suitability of mosques’ structure in the light of the elderly’s needs.

Method: This study, which adopted a cross-sectional design, was conducted among 30 mosques of Sabzevar in the summer of 2016. Data were collected using a 70-item checklist made by the researchers. Elements of spatial structures (e.g. elderly-friendly houses, churches, and parks) were utilized in designing this instrument. The opinions of some experts in ergonomics, elderly science, and civil engineering were also sought. The current conditions of various parts of mosques, including shabestans, rest rooms, wash sinks, corridors, stairs, and entrances, were assessed in this study. All ethical issues were observed in this research and the researchers declared no conflict of interests.

Results: About 50% of people who referred to mosques were seniors. The average number of stairs was bigger for the female parts than that of the male parts. Easy access to public transportation was available for around 70% of the mosques. None of the mosques had entrances with equal ground levels in the outside and inside. Finally, about 80% of the studied mosques did not have any ramps for the rest rooms or wash sinks.

Conclusion: The assessed mosques were in appropriate conditions in some parts like the ground surface of the yard and the building, lighting, and temperature. However, interventions are required in some parts like rest rooms, stairs, and corridors. Since the population of the elderly is growing in Iran, the physical structure of mosques should undergo some ergonomic interventions to protect seniors’ comfort and independence and enhance their safety.

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Please cite this article as: MohammadiZ, TirgarA, Sum  Sh. Assessment of the suitability of the structure of mosques in the light of the elderly’s needs. J Res Relig Health. 2018; 4(2): 94- 104.



Keywords

Comfort; Customization; Elderly; Ergonomics; Independence; Mosque

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